KCBD Investigates: A history of child abuse?
Wonda and Dave Dixon were back in court Monday, as they continue the fight to regain custody of their ten adopted children.
However, a KCBD investigation revealed this couple may have faced abuse charges before.
Bobby Wilson says he always suspected something just wasn't right about his neighbors who lived in the yellow mobile home down the road.
"They just kind of looked bewildered. You didn't see the laughter and the play of some of these kids. That's something that you noticed was missing," Wilson said.
Wilson tells us he would often see the Dixon's ten children outside.
"I've just seen the grownups sitting out at their patio tables. I've seen the kids working out in the yard, picking up weeds, mowing, taking out trash," Wilson tells us.
While assigning daily charges is hardly a crime, Wilson says the work seemed excessive.
"It was long hours, it seemed like. They'd clean up till after dark, a lot of time," Wilson said.
But Wilson tells us he never expected to see what he did, the morning of October 3rd.
"I was here when the sheriff showed up. They were taking the kids out of the house and putting them in the vehicles. We didn't know what to think until we heard the news of that one little girl being starved. it was shocking," Wilson said.
"We immediately stepped in and took action," Sheriff Kelly Rowe told KCBD.
Action that stemmed from a complaint to the local CPS office, which launched an investigation revealing the unthinkable.
KCBD has obtained a summary of that investigation which was filed in court, describing the Dixon's severely malnourished 12-year old daughter. On Aug. 16, the report stated the child weighed approximately 70 pounds. Just five days later, she was admitted to UMC and weighed in at just 57 pounds.
The report says a therapist who met with her in her hospital bed said the girl spoke about sexual and physical abuse going on inside the home.
"It was certainly one image visually and another when they delved into it," Rowe said.
Beatings with water hoses and extension cords, and that her siblings were instructed to punch her if she acted out.
"It was certainly very deplorable conditions," Rowe said.
Staff members at the children's middle school also noticed odd behavior.
The report says the children were forced to bring anything they were given back to school. When asked why, Dave Dixon would say, "We don't take handouts".
The 12-year old girl was seen taking food from the trash and from an unlocked closet in her classroom.
Wonda and Dave Dixon were arrested on Oct. 3 and charged with Child Abuse, but a KCBD Investigation reveals charges that took us twenty years back and four states away.
Back in 1992, Dave Dixon pleaded no contest when charged with Child Abuse in Orlando, Florida.
State officials couldn't provide KCBD with the details of that case, saying it was too old and that it had been purged.
So we contacted Florida's Department of Children and Families. They couldn't provide details in the criminal case, but they did confirm, the Dixons were involved with their agency in the late '80s and early '90s.
We also found out CPS was called to the Dixon's house four other times in the past year and a half, but that the complaints were dismissed.
Wonda and Dave Dixon are still being held in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a $150,000 bond.